Four Things NOT to Do When you are Arrested
When most people are arrested, they cannot think straight. Facing a criminal charge can be terrifying, especially for individuals who have never faced charges or had to interact with law enforcement in this capacity. The interactions that occur at the time of one’s arrest are critical, and the actions and statements that the individual makes during them can play pivotal roles in the ultimate outcome of his or her case.
If you have been arrested for an alleged criminal offense, work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through the next steps of the criminal justice process. Keep the following in mind before and after you begin to work with your lawyer:
Do Not Resist Arrest
If you are under arrest, do not resist it. Resisting arrest is a criminal offense in itself and can saddle you with another charge. When you are under arrest, comply with the arresting officer at all times. Running from an officer, driving away, or even swatting an officer’s hands away from your body can be considered to be resisting arrest.
Do Not Speak to the Officer
Although the previous entry said to comply with all of the instructions you are given by the police, this does not include speaking to them or giving information if you are asked to do so. Comply with their physical instructions, but exercise your right to remain silent throughout the arrest process. Any statement you make will be recorded and may be used in any way later, which can potentially incriminate you.
Do Not Allow Police to Search your Home or Vehicle
In order to search your home or vehicle, the police need to have a search warrant. If they do not have one, they may certainly ask you for permission to search your property – but you are under no obligation to grant it. If an officer asks you to step outside your home, tell him or her that you are comfortable speaking through a window or an ajar door.
Do Not Insult the Officer
Although you might be tempted to insult the officer, avoid this at all costs. Do not flaunt any connections you have to law enforcement or the court and do not threaten the officer’s job using your alleged connections. The officer with whom you interact can have a significant amount of input to how your case progresses, and acting in a defiant or hostile manner can cause you to face greater challenges in the future.
Work with a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you need to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you get your charge lowered or dismissed. Otherwise, you can face significant penalties and the challenges that come with having a criminal record for years to come. To get started on your case’s defense with a member of our Florida criminal defense firm, contact Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today.